Category Archives: Workouts

Honey Glazed Salmon Recipe and if apps are your thing, you’re gonna need to read this!

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Okay, so I have a confession to make.  I didn’t actually eat this salmon.  Um…I actually don’t like seafood.  I’ve tried it a couple of different times in my life to no avail.  You see, I want to like it.  It’s so good for you!  But I….Just. Can’t.  Like, I actually gagged when I was trying to get the raw salmon out of the package and into the baking dish.  Sorry, but I did.  Me and seafood…we got issues.  But that’s a topic for another day.  Or possibly for a therapist.  Anyway, I opted for a protein shake in place of the salmon.  See?  I’m not a total loser…heh heh…still got my protein in!

The rest of my family loved this meal!  My husband is always crying about how he never gets to eat any seafood because I don’t like it.  Big man-baby pansy. So I’ve decided to try to start throwing some on the meal plan every so often.  And I’ll just have a shake on those nights.

The best thing about this?  It was ready in about 30 minutes!

Here’s how to make the meal above:

1 bunch bok choy, washed, stalks cut off, roughly chop the leaves
2 C chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
2 tsp minced garlic, divided
2 tsp minced ginger, divided
2 Cups instant brown rice (you don’t have to use instant, I just did because I needed this meal to be quick)
1 lemon
1 1/2 lb salmon fillet
crushed red pepper (as desired)
2 T. honey
8 T. soy sauce
olive oil

Preheat to 425.
In medium bowl whisk together 1/2 the garlic and ginger, then add the juice of one lemon, soy sauce (I found this to be a little much and will probably reduce it to 6 T. next time), and honey.

Place salmon in baking dish and pour half of the sauce mixture on top.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until salmon is opaque.  Pour on rest of sauce halfway through baking time.

While salmon is cooking, bring broth to boil in small saucepan.  Add rice & stir.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 min.

Heat skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil.  Add remaining garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper to taste.  Add bok choy and a little bit of soy sauce.  Saute about 2-3 minutes.

This recipe came from the app called Mealime.  Which leads me to my next point!  I have a few great app suggestions I’d like to share with you.  I love these because they all help me keep myself on track throughout the day.

First up is Mealime.

It’s a great meal planning app that you can customize to suit your tastes or goals.  I know the paid version offers a little more customization, but for now, the free version works perfectly for me.

Why do I love it?  I’m glad you asked!  Do you ever get just totally burned out on meal planning?  Nothing sounds good, you don’t want to take the time to do it, you can’t think of anything….
This app takes all of that away.  You set your preferences.  You can even tell it foods that you don’t like and it won’t give you recipes with them in it.  It comes with a complete grocery list for all of the meals.  If you don’t like a meal that it has planned for you, you just swipe it away and it’s replaced by another.  I LOVE it!
The only negative that I have found with this so far is that it’s a ‘Dinner only’ planner.  So there’s no breakfast or lunches or snacks planned.  But for me, dinner is the hardest part of the meal plan to come up with.  I’m sure there are other apps out there that will plan all of your meals for you if you want, I just didn’t need that so I stopped looking when I found this one.

The next app that I am loving right now is called Our Home.  I use it to assign the girls’ chores and keep track of my own somewhat, too.

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The girls each have the app on their phones, as well.  When they come home from school, they can open it up and see what they need to get done for the day.  You can schedule the tasks to repeat weekly, daily, monthly, etc.  It’s pretty awesome.  And they can check them off as they are completed.

I have recently started using some of the features on the Fly Lady app to keep track of different cleaning projects I like to get done each month.

FlyLady.net iPhone/iPad App

This app can be used as little or as much as you like. From daily tasks to complete all the way to monthly chores.   I like that she sets up different zones to focus on each month, so that in addition to my normal housework, I can be reminded to do other projects that might get overlooked like cleaning out the linen closet or the pantry.  I don’t really think about those things often, so I can get reminders about those type of things.

And finally I want to share with you a great workout app that I think would be perfect if you are wanting to start exercising but don’t have a clue what to do.

8fit is also a free app, with the option to upgrade to the paid version for more perks.  I use the daily beginner workouts as my warm up for my lifting sessions and it’s perfect!  I don’t get bored with doing the same old warm up because it’s something different every day.  You can set your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and the type of exercise you’d like to do, and also set your goals.  Each exercise has a video demo of how to correctly perform the movement.

So that’s it!  I hope you’ll give some of these a try.  I’m all for anything that makes life a little easier and these really do the trick for me!

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Happy 2017!

2016 was a year of crazy politics, a few big changes for us as a family, and unfortunately, a year of sadness.  We lost two close friends.  They both died too young, leaving those of us who loved them behind to try to move on through life without them.

Needless to say, I was ready for the new year.  I know that time marches on and January 1st is just another day, but it does always feel like a new slate and new beginning to me.

So far, 2017 has been fun.  For starters, our beautiful Katie Bug has turned 15!

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I do not understand how this has happened.  Because, for real, she looked like this yesterday, right?

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We had an awesome game night to celebrate her special day and then a family dinner out at her favorite italian restaurant.  I realize that she will soon be driving, but in a pretend sort of way.  I’m not really letting that in on the radar yet.  Because, as I said, she should still look like this…

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Brian was able to enjoy 11 whole days off over the holidays.  He had been working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day for a VERY LONG time and we had thought he might have to work through the holidays, but it turned out that he was able to be off and thank goodness for that because he needed a break.  We really enjoyed all the down time at home with just the 4 of us.  So thankful for his job and the security it brings, but it’s nice to be able to have a break once in a while.

I try not to set resolutions anymore because honestly, mine are always the same.  Be healthy.  Be happy.  So, it’s really more of a regrouping and refocusing for me.  With that being said, 2017 is going to be the year that I finally attempt Intermittent Fasting.

Say whaaaaa????

Yep, intermittent fasting.  It kind of goes against everything you’ve ever been taught about eating, so you may think I’ve lost my mind here, but bear with me.

What is intermittent fasting, you ask?  Well, to put it most simply, it is just fasting for a certain time period every day.  There are couple of different ways you can approach it, but I’ll just talk about the way I’ll be doing it.

Basically, I have a time window from noon to 8 PM that I can eat.  Nothing after 8:00 and nothing until noon the next day.  Pretty simple, right?  But now you’re wondering why I would do that when I’ve been preaching for the last 4 years about eating within an hour of waking!!!

Well, I kept seeing posts on Instagram from some of the fitness accounts I follow talking about Intermittent Fasting.  I ignored it mostly at first because…well….the whole “fasting” part sounded awful.  Then I started getting more intrigued, but didn’t really have time to fully investigate, so I just kind of read things here and there and kept it tucked away in the back of my mind.  I didn’t really want to jump into it without doing my research first.

Now that I’ve had time to research it, I’ve decided to give it a fair try.  And if you’re wondering why I would want to subscribe to this seemingly crazy method, well, I have two pretty simple reasons.

First, it is going to majorly simplify my life.  If you are a meal planner, you know how agonizing it can be to sit there in front of a blank piece of paper and come up with 3 meals a day plus snacks that are quick, healthy, and that you are not sick to death of eating.  Especially on days when I’m not feeling particularly creative or when I have a million other things on my mind.  I just sit there and stare at my blank meal plan while the seconds tick by and everything else I need to be doing gets left behind.  With intermittent fasting, breakfast is eliminated.  In the morning, instead of getting up and immediately fixing myself something to eat, I just fix a cup of coffee (yeah, coffee is allowed.  Black coffee.  My fave).  I then can do my morning chores, get the girls up for school, start a load of laundry, do my daily devotion, my workout, etc.

The second reason I’m giving IF a try is that working out on an empty stomach, in simplest terms, will burn fat that is already stored in my body instead of burning off the nutrients that I consumed at breakfast.  I’m not really changing what I eat but only WHEN I eat.  Obviously by cutting out a meal, I will be consuming less calories, but it’s not a matter of restricting this or that.  It’s just:  You don’t eat until this time.  And you stop after this time.  Way easier than dieting, in my opinion.

Are you worried about being hungry or feeling too sluggish to get through a workout on an empty stomach?  I was too.  The first two days, it did feel weird, I’m not gonna lie.  I have been a faithful breakfast eater for years.  I’m not a night eater, so not eating after 8:00 isn’t hard.  But I always eat first thing upon waking, so that has been odd.  But today was my 3rd day and I actually felt awesome this morning.  I think like anything else, it’s just an adjustment that you have to make.

So, that’s the biggest change I am trying to make in 2017.  And it’s really more of an experiment a this point.  I want to see what it does or doesn’t do for me and how it makes me feel/affects fat loss.  In the initial stage so far, I am just loving the fact that I don’t have to plan out as many meals.  It’s kind of pathetic how excited I am about that part of it, actually.

Today was chest and triceps workout.  I did 3 sets of 12 of the following:

Bench Press
Chest Fly
Push Ups
Overhead DB TricepsRaises
Skull Crushers
Triceps Kickbacks

I also walked my dog 30 minutes and tonight I’m going to do some yoga.  Yoga is something I’ve done sporadically over the years.  I know how important flexibility is as we age and after talking with Katie’s physical therapist a few months ago, he really convinced me that I need to incorporate it more on a regular basis, so that’s going to be another area of focus for me.

Oh and I can’t forget this simple yet tasty recipe I wanted to share today.  I love roasted vegetables in the winter.  Well all year, actually, but especially in the winter.  I know this picture isn’t the best but I was too lazy to try to make it look better.  Forgive.

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Just take 12 carrots, scrub em. I don’t even peel them, just wash them and scrub them well.  Cut ends off, then cut in half, then in half lengthwise.  In large ziplock baggie, put 1/4 C olive, carrots, salt, pepper and some thyme or other seasonings to your liking.  Roast on 400 for about 30-40 minutes.  I served them tonight with a chicken and broccoli casserole.  That’s it!  Easy and delish!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and wish you health and happiness in 2017!

Lower Body Workout

Today I want to share my current lower body workout with you.  I love this because it requires minimal equipment (dumbbells and a stability ball, and a bench or chair pushed up against the wall), but still gives you a killer workout that will leave you exhausted.

For each exercise, you will do 3 sets of 12 reps.  Rest one minute between each set.

I normally take my dog for a brisk walk as my warmup, but today the roads are covered in ice and I am not known for my gracefulness and balance, so I settled for some burpees in my garage and just some general running around and being stupid because it was cold out there as my warm up today haha.

Here’s how the workout looks:

3 sets of 12 for each

Goblet Squats
Hold weight against your chest, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width (if you’re tall, go a little wider), toes pointed slightly outward, sit back and down between your knees, keeping the weight and your chest upright, feet flat on the floor – if you start to fall forward, widen your stance.  And keep your knees pointed out!  Then push back up to beginning position and repeat!

Lunges
Stand up straight with slight bend in knees, hold dumbbells at sides, step forward and squat down.  Keep head up and don’t allow your knees to push out past your toes, then push off and return to starting position.  Repeat with other leg.
Step Ups
Hold dumbbells at your side while standing in front of a flat bench or chair (make sure chair is pushed up against a wall so it doesn’t move around). Step onto bench with left foot, push up through your heel to lift yourself up, pause, then lower down to starting position.  Repeat for 12 reps then switch to right side.
Bulgarian Split Squats
Choose light to no weight for this exercise if you’ve never done it before.  Your balance will be tested.  You can add weight as you progress.  Stand about 2 to 3 feet in front of a flat bench or some or chair pushed up against a wall.  Face away from the bench with dumbbells at your sides.  Extend one leg behind you and place your foot on the bench.  Lower your body by bending the other knee.  Don’t lean forward, drop straight down until thigh is parallel with floor, then push through your heel to raise back to starting position, without locking your knee out.  Repeat.
Stiff-Leg Dead lifts (my favorite dead lift variation!)
Stand up straight with a slight bend in your knees and your feet around shoulder width apart holding dumbbells in front of you, resting on your thighs. Keep your back as straight as possible and bend over at the waist lowering the dumbbells over the tops of you feet, keeping your knees stationary. Lower the dumbbells until you feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings.  Using your hamstrings,begin to raise the dumbbells straight back up. Your eyes should be facing up and your shoulders back. This will prevent your lower back from rounding. Squeeze up through the glutes and hamstrings until you’re standing straight up.
Triple Threats
(I’m linking to a nice Youtube demo here because I feel like I have a hard time typing this out in a way that is going to make any sense haha.)  Please take a moment to watch because this one is a killer and definitely a major player in this workout! Check it out here:  Triple Threat

 

 

Build a Better Booty Challenge!

My biggest problem area on my body is my hips/butt/thigh area.  It is where all of my excess body fat resides and it is so hard for me to make progress there.  Tonight I’m starting this 14 day challenge that targets that specific area.  If you want to participate, you can find all the details here:  http://gethealthyu.com/14-days-to-a-better-butt/

 

Use this two week challenge to get a firmer, better booty!

Fitness Check-In

Right before we moved, I had started the New Rules of Lifting for Women program.  I had a very hard time at first with letting go of my old split, which was to work certain muscle groups on specific days.  However, I had read so many good things about this program and wanted to give it a try.  Plus, as an added bonus, the workouts in this program tend to be a lot easier on my elbow, which if you’ve ever had tendon issues, you know how painful that is.

Once we got ready to move, I got off track with that a little bit, mainly because my weights were buried under boxes in the garage, and resorted to just throwing some spotty workouts together for a while.  Now that we’re settled in (for the most part), I’ve been hitting those workouts hard.  And I love them.  Although I must confess that I tend to throw a few finishing moves onto the end of each workout….I just can’t seem to not do that lol…but I’m really happy so far.  I’ve noticed increased strength already and can’t wait to see where I’m at when I finish the whole program.

So, to document where I’m currently at & where I want to go, here’s an update:

4-21-16

Current body weight:  129.8
Short term goals:  adhere to this program & stay focused through the upcoming busy travel ball season.Long term goals:  Increase overall strength, lean body mass, and endurance
Problem areas:  LOWER BODY!  Ugh!  I know that when we lose weight it tends to go from top to bottom.  First you notice it in your face, then shoulders/arms, abdomen & then finally the lower body.  Unfortunate for people like me who really want to see results there first.  Oh well, that’s the breaks!  Gotta keep working hard & I know the results will come.

This place where I’m at right now is hard for me to be in.  I struggle with thinking that I am fine where I’m at, so why not just maintain it vs. I really want to reach the next level, but I’m scared of the hard work that will take!  When you don’t really have X number of pounds to lose, it becomes more about changing your physique, which can be difficult to do unless you are willing to commit 100% to doing what it takes to make that happen.  I get too comfortable with myself & motivation is lacking at times to tweak things that need tweaking.

Oh and I’ve been slacking on water intake too. Man, what a difference that makes.  I forget sometimes how important it is to be hydrated.  It affects everything from your hunger levels to your skin, and energy levels too.  When I’ve gone too long without water and finally have some, it’s like coming back from the dead.  So that’s another area of focus for the upcoming weeks.

What do your current goals look like?

 

Lunch and a Short but Effective Workout

This is what I like to call my Lazy Lunch.  If I’m not in the mood to cook or if I’m running low on food in the house, I will fix this.  2 slices bacon, 1 C. shredded potatoes, 1 egg & 1 C. spinach.  It’s easy and keeps me from having to think too hard about lunch.

Lazy Girl Lunch

Lazy Girl Lunch

So after that awesome lunch, I have an exciting couple of loads of laundry to do and run the sweeper.  Then I’ll be ready for my workout today.  I’m taking a slight break from weightlifting this week and going with HIIT instead.  I’ve got a new program in the works for myself where lifting and my eating are concerned plus I’m feeling a little burnt out on the lifting.  One thing I know, I’m not eating enough but I’ve been so blah & hit or miss in my workouts lately that I’ve put on quite a bit of body fat and about 5 lbs.  Not sure where the lackluster effort in my workouts is coming from because I know in my heart I love lifting, but the desire just hasn’t been there here lately.  So a break from the norm in the hopes that it will rejuvenate my passion for lifting is in order.  Plus, we’re leaving for a mini 2-day vacation tomorrow so I’ll write up some HIIT workouts I can do in the hotel.  It will be a nice, much needed change to the routine.

Here’s my workout for today:

4 ROUNDS OF 30 SECONDS WORK/15 SECONDS REST OF THE FOLLOWING CIRCUIT

SQUAT JUMPS
JUMP LUNGES
SIT UP TO JUMP UP (LAY FLAT ON BACK, SIT UP ALL THE WAY TO STANDING THEN JUMP)
IN & OUT SQUAT JUMPS
BURPEE W/PUSHUP & DUMBBELLS TO OVERHEAD PRESS

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Life on the outskirts of town.